Bead blasting is the process of removing surface deposits by applying fine glass beads at a high pressure without damaging the surface.
It is used to clean calcium deposits from pool tiles or any other surfaces, and removes embedded fungus and brightens grout color. This process is notably used as an efficiently popular way to clean tile surfaces in swimming pools. It is also used in autobody work to remove paint.
In wheel blasting, a wheel uses centrifugal force to propel the abrasive against the substrate. It is typically categorized as an airless blasting operation because there is no propellant (gas or liquid) used. A wheel machines is a high-power, high-efficiency blasting operation with recyclable abrasive (typically steel or stainless steel shot, cut wire, grit or similar sized pellets). Specialized wheel blast machines propel plastic abrasive in a cryogenic chamber, and is usually used for deflashing plastic and rubber components. The size of the wheel blast machine, and the number and power of the wheels vary considerably depending on the parts to be blasted as well as on the expected result and efficiency.
Hydro-blasting, commonly known as water blasting, is popular because it usually requires only one operator. In hydro-blasting, a highly pressured stream of water is used to remove old paint, chemicals, or buildup without damaging the original surface. This method is ideal for cleaning internal and external surfaces because the operator is generally able to send the stream of water into places that are difficult to reach using other methods. Another benefit of hydro-blasting is the ability to recapture and reuse the water, reducing waste and the impact on the environment.
Micro-abrasive blasting is dry abrasive blasting process that uses small nozzles (typically 0.25 mm to 1.5 mm diameter) to deliver a fine stream of abrasive accurately to either a small part (mm size) or a small area on a larger part. Generally the area to be blasted is from about 1 mm to only a few cm at most. Also known as pencil blasting, the fine jet of abrasive is accurate enough to write directly on glass and delicate enough to cut a pattern in an eggshell. The abrasive media particle sizes range from 10 micrometres up to about 150 micrometres. Higher pressures are often required. The abrasive media is generally not recycled, since the particles tend to shatter on impact or lose their sharp edges.
The most common micro-abrasive blasting systems are commercial bench-mounted units consisting of a power supply and mixer, exhaust hood, nozzle and gas supply. The nozzle can be hand-held or fixture mounted for automatic operation. Either the nozzle or part can be moved in automatic operation.